Tomb Raider II - Team Interview (1997)
- GameSpot.co.uk -
Lara Croft gets a new look thanks to graphic designer Stewart Arkinson and rest of the development team. They've been working around the clock to get Tomb Raider II finished for those all important pre-Christmas sales. Their lack of sleep should be offset by the royalties for the new game (each one should receive a cheque for at least six figures).
What were the biggest challenges on Tomb Raider II?
Getting it finished on time!
Seriously though, I guess the biggest challenge was to include all the new elements such as new moves, Lara's ponytail etc, plus to improve gameplay. We had a lot of feedback saying that the original game didn't have enough action. This time we've got a 50-50 balance between action and exploration. We had a few problems fitting all the new levels into the game as our map designers got a bit carried away...! The end result is a much bigger game that will last for even longer.
What's the most important improvement you've made to Tomb Raider II?
Some would say it's Lara's ponytail!!! There are a lot of very subtle improvements such as refined control of Lara and an improved camera system but the most important is probably the new lighting effects such as the flares, flickers and gun-flashes. It really makes the game more realistic and atmospheric when you can mess around properly with the lighting.
Is Lara Croft bigger than the game?
Well, she is certainly better known amongst the general public than she was this time last year!
I guess in some ways she can stand alone from the game. A lot of the media coverage such as 'The Face' and 'FHM' has concentrated on Lara rather than the game. This has resulted in lots of people recognising Lara but when you ask them about the actual game they're pretty clueless! Lara seems to have become a bit of an industry icon and is often associated with 'Girl Power'. I think we were very lucky with our timing: Lara was born just as the whole Girl Power thing was taking off. Her no-nonsense, independent attitude really seems to appeal to the mainstream media. Of course, the way she looks has a lot to do with her success but she's also the first female games character who has been given a credible personality.
What's the difference between the PlayStation and PC versions?
Not much. The PC looks super cool in high resolution, but the PlayStation version has some neat transparencies and other effects.
What's the minimum Spec for Tomb Raider II?
A PlayStation or a P90 with 16MB RAM.
Which levels best show off the PC 3D support?
Take your pick! They all look silky smooth when accelerated, but as to which level is best it's impossible to say! We hope that each level has something for everyone.
Lara has had a bit of a make-over in Tomb Raider II, why did you do this and who idea was it?
The new game engine has allowed us to give all the characters a lot more detail so we've been able to smooth out a few of those rough bits and give her a ponytail...
What's your favourite enemy in Tomb Raider II and why?
The scuba diver? The yeti? The moray eels? We all have our own favourites it seems! Again, it's a personal thing. Nearly all the enemies are brand new with the exception of the rats! You'll find that there are plenty of human baddies as well as animals. All enemies are a lot more intelligent than TR1, so you'll need to have your wits about you, especially with some of the human characters.
Do you think there's enough mileage in character for a third instalment of Tomb Raider?
We shall have to see - at present there isn't enough mileage in us to even contemplate doing it again without a very long holiday!!!
Why is Tomb Raider II going to be the game of the year?
We hope that we've added enough new stuff to make Tomb Raider II a whole new game instead of just a sequel that includes 'more of the same'. We're expecting people to be more critical this time around - let's just hope it lives up the your expectations. It would be complacent for us to simply assume that everyone who bought the first game will rush out to buy the sequel (but we can always hope!) Lara's new-found fame might encourage a few more sales from people who want to see what all the fuss is about!
Is Lara Croft a spice girl or barbie girl?
Neither! She's been labelled 'Digital Spice' and 'Shotgun Spice' amongst other things, but we like to think that she's in a class of her own. Barbie girl - DEFINITELY NOT !!! but look out for the action figure next year!!!
Meet the TRII Team
L to R top row: Neal Boyd, Andrew Howe, Lara, Jason Gosling, Gavin Rummery.
Bottom row: Joss Charmet, Heather Gibson, Stuart Atkinson
The full TRII Team are:
Music & Sound Effects
Jeremy H. Smith
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